In an episode of NCIS from 2008, we learned that the ever-jovial Abby had a dark side. And it resulted in a highly unpopular scene in which she verbally assaulted McGee.
In the episode Dog Tags, the team goes to the home of a murd3r suspect to serve a warrant. When they arrive, however, they discover that the man has d1ed. Not long after that, the deceased’s dog, Jethro, started att4ck1ng Agent McGee.
Jethro had planned to k1ll McGee and had left a severe bite mark on his neck to prove it. Fortunately, the agent was able to draw his gun and shoot him. The bullet did not k1ll the dog. However, because he was so vicious, the team suspected that the four-legged villain, not the original suspect, was responsible for the k1ll1ngs.
Abby gave McGee a hard time when he returned to the lab. Not only did she believe Jethro was innocent of all cr1mes, but she also believed he deserved to be shot. When McGee tried to explain how the dog almost k1ll3d him, she accused him of lying.
The scene irritated Reddit user TimeLordMaster108.
“What the hell was Abby’s issue in this episode?” he wondered. “I understand she wanted to clear Jethro of murd3ring his owner, which is a noble act, but I’m sure you can all guess where this is going.”
“Her treatment of McGee is atrocious,” he went on. “Jethro nearly severed his arm and instilled in him a lifelong fear of dogs.” But she never expresses sympathy to her friend, and she never [apologizes].”
After the ‘NCIS’ ‘Dog Tags’ Episode, Abby lost a lot of fans.
The majority of Redditors who chimed in agreed with TimeLordMaster108. They all thought Abby’s outburst was out of character and made no sense given how close Abby and McGee were.
And, as someone else mentioned, Abby manipulated McGee into contributing to a flower fund for the animal. She eventually persuaded him to take Jethro in as a pet.
People were also riled up by the thread. The dynamics of the NCSI team are adored by fans. And McGee and Abby’s friendship was particularly special. However, their relationship appeared to be a farce as a result of their outburst.
“Apparently, this dog she just f***ing met is more important than her friend, coworker, and ex-lover,” wrote toadsanchez420.
Another NCSI fan started a thread about Dog Tags in 2021, detailing everything the Chief Forensic Scientist did wrong before adding, “the Abby in this episode was not the Abby [they] liked to watch early in the show.”
The discussion continued in another Reddit thread in August, when realclowntime pointed out that Dog Tags was the worst NCIS episode ever because it made them realize that “Abby is a petulant child just cuz.”
Some fans even went so far as to say that episode was the beginning of the end for Pauley Perrette’s character, despite the fact that she stayed for another ten years. Even if it wasn’t the catalyst, it’s clear that the once-popular scientist lost a lot of credibility on that fateful day.
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